Welcome to the discussion. I look forward to working with you all.
To begin, let me comment on how frequently a new turn of phrase creeps into popular usage, and how quickly we start using it, without really thinking about what it means. Per se So as we start our discussion about the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning, I?d like to invite you to share with us what that phrase means to you, and your practice. And can we agree to use SOTL as an acronym, to save hours of typing the full words?
Let me open by saying that, in the past decade or so, SOTL, has been increasingly applied to developments in Higher Education. I?d like to suggest that we follow that trend. Whereas there is a rich and varied body of research that considers teaching and learning in the K-12 institutions, and we can certainly draw on that literature for our discussion, I?d like to ask that we focus on the Post-Secondary and Adult Education panels. If there?s a big demand, I?m sure Sylvia will set up a separate K-12 forum later on. Hmmm?am I constraining our definition with that suggestion?
I mention Adult Education because it is near and dear to my heart. As a graduate of the doctoral program at OISE/University of Toronto, where ?self-directedness? was even applied to cleaning up after ourselves in the student kitchen, many of the principles that underpin SoTL have informed my work for years. Brookfield and Cross and Mezirow, some of the educators whose work has helped to promote SOTL, and whose writings I hope we will discuss during this seminar, are also highly regarded in Adult Education. It?s a pleasure for me to be discussing the theories and practices in these overlapping fields.
As we start, I?d like to mention three points, in particular. First, the duration of this forum is deliberately planned to coincide with the Educational Developers Caucus at the University of Victoria, in beautiful British Columbia. I?m introducing SCoPE to the participants in my presentation on Feb. 22, and, since the conference is focusing on SoTL, my hope is that the online discussion in this forum will contribute to the success of the event. SCoPE already has an international membership, and we welcome new members who will be joining us from Victoria in a few days.
Secondly, you?ll notice that I?ve started a thread on Annotated Bibliography and Favourite Resources, so that we can start building a repository of our most loved reading and sources. Please put the title of your recommendation in the Subject Line of your posting, and give us a little flavour of the book or website, along with details and links that can help us find the resource for ourselves.
And finally, let me go back to my opening comment about helping others to understand SoTL. Many of you are familiar with Wikipedia the remarkable online reference wiki that has been built by the contribution of dedicated people worldwide. When I searched for the term Scholarship of Teaching and Learning, I found that there was no such entry in W. So I added it, and you find it by clicking here! As we refine our definitions here, let?s contribute to Wikipedia so that people worldwide can refer to it. (Click on my name in SCoPE to send me a private message if you need private help on using Wikipedia).
And now it?s time to start the conversation. For those who need a place to start, let me direct you to CASTL. However, the question is, what does SOTL mean to you?